In battle of the sexes, which side do you consider "won" ?

Expert Answers
M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although both the guys and the ladies came nearly equal enough (they all got their partners and we can assume lived happily ever after), it was the males in the play that get the upper hand and here is why:

Algernon and Ernest will always be men. Society in Victorian England was ruled by men and men had precedence. Since Ernest had money, he naturally was even more fortunate, having guardianship and control of Cecily's inheritance.

Algernon was probably the luckiest in the deal (not a shocker) because now he was officially related to Jack/Ernest and therefore he could make use of his money by simply asking Cecily to ask him for it.

Meanwhile, the ladies had their dream men whose dutiful names were after all, Ernest, but that is it for them. They are likely to end up like every other Victorian wife.

Yet, there is one more thing about Algy and Jack: They may have "killed off" Ernest and Bunbury, but there is always the possibility of creating new, invalid and evil friends whom they will pretend to go take of once they get bored of living in the country.

Read the study guide:
The Importance of Being Earnest

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question